Licensing, Copyright, and Creative Commons
Ever since I joined Flickr, my copyright license has been set to “All Rights Reserved”.
I chose this option when I first joined, because I wasn’t sure HOW I felt about other people using my work. I also wasn’t sure about where I was going with the whole creative endeavor - whether I wanted to try to make serious money off my photography or what.
Also, when you allow any licensing of your work through a Creative Commons license, it overrides any setting you have restricting downloads/saves of your photos.
I have kind of felt bad about this setting for a while. I mean, who do I think I am? And I think I decided some time ago that I am not going to pursue starting any kind of a serious business.
So, for the past month or so, I have been thinking about changing to a Creative Commons license. I just haven’t been sure which one.
I mean, part of me feels like if someone wants to BUY my photos as a card or a poster, or gallery wrap, I would still like them to pay me. So, I am keeping those options open on my SmugMug site - for the images that I actually wouldn’t feel bad about taking money for.
But I DO want people to be able to use my photos on their blogs or otherwise on their website, as long as THEY’re not making money off it and I’m not.
I am a little possessive about my work though. I don’t want people to change it without my permission.
My friend Alachia thinks people should be able to create art from your art. And I get where she’s coming from. But I work hard on my photos, and still feel too possessive about the result to let people change it. Maybe she’ll talk me ‘round one day.
So, for now, I have made my Flickr photos available through a Creative Commons license: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Maybe I will regret this. I mean, it’s not like I have great faith in humanity or anything, and there is nothing now to STOP someone from using my work commercially — I have to trust them. Something I don’t think actually works. And I don’t know if I can spend days upon days trawling the internets to make sure no one is using my work for profit.
But, I DO want people to be able to use it. And use with attribution is better than no use at all, right?
So, there you go. I have taken the leap. I still feel a little strange about it though.